One challenge, Culatta noted, is making sure that education leaders are aware of the best  practices and successes other school districts implement and experience.

“You can have a very high-performing district with great teachers, and move to a  neighboring district and you see none of that,” Culatta said. “The challenge is that we  just don’t do a good enough job of helping to accelerate what’s working really well.”

During Connected Educators Month, ED will reach out to educators across the country in  hopes of generating participation in a virtual professional learning network. edConnectr is a way for educators to describe their interests and goals, find other educators with  similar interests, and connect and collaborate.

OET members are working on a “connected schools guide” to help school districts better  define how they want to leverage technology to improve teaching and learning and learn  about what other schools or districts have done.

“It’s important for us to look for other ways to make it easier for schools to share,” he  said.

Overall, Culatta said OET is focusing on simply listening to what teachers and education  leaders say they need, what they struggle with, and what improvements they’d like to see. “It’s been very enlightening–it’s influenced some of our focus areas,” he said.